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Friday, June 3, 2011


Today my brother came down from Georgia for a visit and to spend the night.  Tomorrow he will leave for Lakeland to see Trey (his grandson) graduate.  This evening over dinner at home and for hours thereafter sitting at the dining room table, we had a loveable feast.  At one point, Bob called our cousin in Tuscaloosa.  Our cousin, also a Bob, and his wife Karen had lived in a house 42 years, only to have it demolished in the recent tornados. Today they were sorting through what’s left in the house.  The house will be bulldozed down in a few days.  Bob and Karen were in the basement when the tornado hit.

After the call, Bob and I began to reminisce about our childhood and youth.  We unearthed many detailed memories stored somewhere deep within our brains.  None of the specifics matter much except to Bob and me.  Yet for us they offer a strong sense of identity and a legacy of adventure, fun, and freedom.  The key ingredient to all our experiences is the grounding love cultivated by our parents and generously bestowed upon each of us. After hearing of the experiences of others, we now realize that our childhood may have been somewhat abnormal.  There was none of the family treacheries and dysfunctions that make for great literature.  Nevertheless, our lives were not bland.  We were the beneficiaries of the fruit of the spirit fully manifest in the close quarters of a home.  This has enriched our lives throughout the years leaving it necessary for us to struggle hard to come up with even a few regrets.  If Bob & I could wish any gift on others now or for endless generations ahead, it would be the presence of loving parents filling a home with quiet conviction, genuine confidence, and reliable humility.  Life is filled with many questions, but for good or bad the disposition of the heart in the laboratory of the home becomes dependably known.

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